versión impresa ISSN 1517-4522
BENGOA, José. 25 years of rural studies. Sociologias [online]. 2003, n.10, pp. 36-98. ISSN 1517-4522. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-45222003000200004.
This article examines the displacements that have taken place in issues regarding agriculture and the rural world in Latin America in the last 25 years. In a few areas of social knowledge the theme related to such matters has been greatly displaced. Reading the 1960s' highly transcendent texts is relevant almost only to the analysis of the history of ideas - an indication of the aforesaid displacement. In reviewing literature one faces outmoded-sounding debates, with no current importance and sometimes even pointless. Besides, the inertia of current studies points to the lack of renovation and the absence of new approaches. That is why critique has to be exercised. This article assays the hypothesis that in this period the rural issue as well as the rural society have lost their autonomy and there emerges - or there should emerge - a new approach towards those subjects in order to understand the meaning that "rural" still has and will have in our societies. The rural issue is still relevant and it will be increasingly relevant, but perhaps not as a production system or a distinct society, but rather as a symbolic identitarian source and force to societies that are heading to a speedy process of globalization, anchoring them in their cultural profundities. It will probably refer to sociability relations, systems of belonging, an essence of basic relations, perhaps the only one to provide meaning in face of collective globalized action.
Palabras llave : rural studies; rural issue; Latin America.